The Colour • The garment is so globally recognised that it’s now referred to as its own colour. Khaki is light brown with a hint of yellow, resulting in a sandy tan hue. The word “khaki” is actually from India, and means “soil-colored” or “dusty.” Its origins are truly utilitarian: in the mid-1800s, soldiers in the British military attempted to blend in with their surroundings by using soil and tea to stain or dye their clothes. Their aim was to create this rugged, camouflaging shade. Today, it’s often referred to as “camel” or “beige”, but “khaki” is truly universal.
The Pants • First referring to the colour, the term “khaki” became the unofficial name of the earth-toned, dust-colored pants, which reached global popularity with explorers and adventurers in the early 1900s. When returning WWII soldiers attended university, most wore their khaki uniform pants to campus, sparking a cultural phenomenon. In 1955, Levi’s® introduced the Levi’s® Casual Line, featuring khaki pants geared towards working men. By this time, khakis had started to gain recognition as more than workwear; they were rugged casualwear with utilitarian function, well-suited for daily life.
The Fabric • A light tan fabric originally used in military uniforms. The colour and garment became so pervasive that khaki cloth became its own entity in the textile world. Khaki has a few defining characteristics: its composition of durable cotton, its twill weave, and its classic sand-like colour — rugged and neutral at once.
Khaki Pants • Our bread and butter, khakis are casual yet refined pants that typically feature slant pockets, a zip fly, and visible stitching. Khakis started out as a military uniform — but we were the first to bring them to the office in 1986, paving the way for a widespread movement of business casualwear for men.
Cargo Pants & Shorts • Military-style clothes originally designed for tough, outdoor activities. Their calling cards are patch pockets affixed to their legs. These khaki shorts and pants offer extra utilitarian value.
Chino • Cotton twill pants. Its name is inspired by the fact that they were originally made in China. Chinos are a lot like khakis, but tend to have a slimmer cut, more streamlined pockets, and invisible stitching.
Joggers • Tapered pants with an elastic leg opening that falls just above the ankle. They’re great for showing-off sneakers.
Shorts • Short pants that reach only to the thigh or knee. Men’s shorts were once considered casual-only, but now they’re being worn by more guys to more momentous occasions.